Master’s students partner with peacebuilding organizations in the field

Author: Hannah Heinzekehr

Muhammad Shahzad Hussain at World Hunger Relief, Waco, Texas

Beginning this month, second-year Keough School of Global Affairs (MGA) students with a concentration in International Peace Studies (IPS) departed for six-month field experiences with partner organizations around the world. The Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies administers the IPS concentration and facilitates these experiences.

The six-month internships this summer are part of an integrated field learning process that allows students to deepen their identity as reflective practitioners and expand their professional peacebuilding experience. While in the field, IPS students intern four days per week with an organization that aligns with their professional goals as peacebuilding practitioners and spend one day each week focused on independent field research for their capstone projects. The MGA program places a strong emphasis on hands-on experiences for all students, and students in the sustainable development and policy & governance concentrations typically participate in the MGA Integration Lab (i-Lab). 

Each year, students work with Susan St. Ville, director of the international peace studies concentration, and Jennifer Betz, assistant director of the concentration, to brainstorm placement opportunities with organizations whose work matches their research and peacebuilding interests. Students also drew on support from Kroc Institute faculty member, Anne Hayner, associate director for alumni relations, who supports the Kroc Institute’s global alumni network of over 1,900 peacebuilders. 

“The field experiences offer a unique opportunity for students to engage and dialogue with the theories of peace studies through the contextual realities of their placements,” said Betz. “The partner organizations provide incredible learning experiences and mentorship for the students as they grow as reflective practitioners. We are so excited and grateful for this year’s class and these opportunities.”

Clevyra Wangsajaya At Owl Panther
Clevyra Wangsajaya, Owl & Panther, Tucson, Arizona, United States

This July, students found placements with 14 different organizations in 12 locations including:

  • Haleemah Ahmad, Catholic Relief Services, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Catherine Bruno, Jesuit Refugee Services, Tapachula and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
  • Euda Fils, JP Morgan, Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • Muhammad Shahzad Hussain, World Hunger Relief, Waco, Texas, United States
  • Emma Jackson, Search for Common Ground, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Saadat Musabaeva, International Civil Society Action Network, Washington, D.C., United States
  • Mongalla Ngbabare, Nationalities Service Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Musu Bakoto Sawo, Women’s Federation for World Peace International, New York City
  • Melvin Sharty, River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding, Gainesville, Florida, United States; and Religions for Peace, New York City, United States (remotely)
  • Emily Tatum, Peace Accords Matrix Barometer Initiative, Bogotá, Colombia
  • Audrey Thill, Environmental Investigation Agency, Washington, D.C., United States
  • Safiatou Touray, Search for Common Ground, Washington, D.C., United States
  • Clevyra Wangsajaya, Owl & Panther, Tucson, Arizona, United States

One member of the Class of 2023, Alberto Solís Castro, will pursue a more in-depth research option through the Notre Dame Violence and Transitional Justice Lab at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. Solís Castro will study the Integral System for Peace in Colombia compared to other transitional justice models in the region. He hopes to explore the requirements that would be needed to undertake a similar process in Mexico. 

Learn more about the Master of Global Affairs program, the International Peace Studies Concentration and how to apply »